Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Once you recognize that you’re getting in your own way (see Recognizing Self-Sabotage), how do you stop?

Unfortunately, resolving self-sabotage issues can take therapy and help unraveling all the subconscious beliefs we have that make us block ourselves from what we really want.

What if you don’t have the money for therapy? Or you need results now?

Here are a few ideas:

1. Realize that just identifying the problem is a huge step towards resolving it. Just knowing that you’re more in control of the situation can help you align your subconscious and conscious desires.

2. Find a role model. Identify someone who is successful in the area you’re sabotaging yourself in, and then put yourself in that person’s head while you’re making decisions.

For example, if you have a good friend named Sally whose career is more advanced than yours, ask yourself “What would Sally do?” when faced with a decision about career-related matters such as making a presentation, buying an appropriate wardrobe, or asking for a raise. If you’re tempted to lose your temper at the office, imagine Sally and ask yourself if she’d ever do that.

3. Fake it until you make it. This is similar to finding a role model. Once you’ve identified an area where you’re causing your own problems, create a list of what people who do not have problems in that area do.

For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, consider what thin people would do when faced with various eating decisions. Would they eat three cookies or one? Do they go out to lunch or bring something nutritious to work with them? Pretend like you’re already at your targeted weight and act accordingly.

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4. Try to figure out at what point in your life you started holding your blocking beliefs. It’s a bit like a mini self-therapy session, but if you can figure out the root of your beliefs and consequent behavior, you’ll work toward releasing the blocks implanted in your subconscious.

For example, as a child, you may have heard your parents talk about the neighbors or even people on TV as being rich and therefore dishonest. Or maybe your family had a negative impression of anyone who won or inherited money instead of “working hard for it like they should.” What we learn as a child in any area – romance, finance, career, health, etc. – will stay with us until we become aware of those influences and work to let go of them.

Or maybe your role in your family was firmly entrenched as the athletic one, and your brother or sister was the smart one. Now, years later, at a job where intelligence matters, you’re still afraid to shine because of your family role.

5. Identify your specific habits and behaviors that get in your way, and resolve to stop them. For example, maybe you tend to run late, and this sabotages your relationships because the other person feels slighted. You don’t have to figure out the underlying cause of this behavior to simply stop it and be on time. I’ve heard people having success improving their punctuality by dropping the last thing on their schedule before their meeting. So, for example, if you’re running errands and are about to go to the post office before meeting your date, drop going to the post office to make sure you’re on time.

To read about the habits that result from self-sabotage, go here.

To read about the behaviors the accompany self-sabotage, go here.

Be sure to check back next week for an article about avoiding self-sabotage relapses.

Think about an area you’re having problems in. What’s one thing you can change to help turn the situation around?


Overcoming Self-Sabotage — 2 Comments

  1. Meg,

    Excellent thoughts. I love the idea that you suggested different ways to unravel limiting beliefs without deeper therapy. The truth is there are many people who are not prepared to try the various energy techniques like EFT that are out there which could help them.

  2. Thanks, Sherry! Although therapy of all sorts can be helpful (and my articles are definitely in no way a substitute), people will do only what they’re ready for. Sometimes the small steps will open a path to more advanced techniques, like EFT.